Tuesday, 29 January 2013


One of the issues of portable devices is how to get the work you have on it onto another device. One of my students was excited when he realised he could access his work through iCloud . He didn't have to do anything just do his work on the iPad in Pages, Keynote or Numbers and everything is automatically uploaded to the cloud. He then accessed this through the browser on his PC. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Edmodo - uploading work

Over the last week or so I have been experimenting with Edmodo. We have been posting messages, links to articles for students to read, set up an RSS feed (although we took this down as we were overloaded with items), carried out polls, quizzes and set assignments. It has been successful will the log showing students logging into the group at all times of the day. One thing that frustrated us was the inability to upload work from the iPad into an assignment. When we went to share there was no option from Pages or Keynote to upload to Edmodo. We discovered a solution:

 2 Choose open in another app
 3 Choose the app you are in
 4 Choose Edmodo
The work will then go into the backpack on Edmodo and from there you can attach it.

or if you are a teacher it will go into your Library and you can share it from there.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Using Forms in Numbers to Assess

Teaching ICT I sometimes I don't want students to be printing things off all the time. I have found setting up forms on numbers a good way of assessing students work while I sit with them. After the lesson I can read the feedback I have given and the progress they have made and personalise task sheets for the next lesson. Dating the feedback on the forms allows me to track whether improvements have been made.

I have created a star system to use with my project work, see the images below.

Assessments can then be exported to an Excel spreadsheet if you want.

Monday, 21 January 2013


My students in ICT were creating a presentation about different communication methods, one wanted to create a mind-map to put into his presentation. He pulled out his iPad and opened Popplet.  Within a couple of minutes he had emailed an image of his completed mind-map to himself and imported it into his work. This then spread around those with iPads and they were all doing it. 


Friday, 18 January 2013


So school is closed due to snow, but it seems my economics students are still doing some work. I have just been logged onto Edmodo and some students have been reading the BBC Economics RSS feeds I added yesterday. I didn't even ask them to read them. This seems to be working.

Life after the iPad project ..

So I was in a meeting and was asked what happens at the end of the of the 1:1 pilot? What is the next step do we start a leasing scheme? What if students can't afford to join the scheme? I have always been wary of committing to such a scheme, as a parent I would be put out by a school demanding I join a scheme or my child would lose out. I have already heard of schools where this approach has failed. Added to that this Christmas tablets were the must have present. The new iPad mini was sold out everywhere and many students received a Kindle Fire HD or the Google Nexus 7 instead. So I can imagine many parents would be reluctant to payout again for another device. The iPad undoubtedly has it all, the ease of use, the cameras (front and rear) and apps galore but are we dreaming of an unachievable goal to have every child with an iPad? Perhaps we should rethink. We can create a school where we provide the infrastructure and students can bring whatever device they choose to access and create content, and collaborate with others. In the video below Stephen Heppel explains the "bring your own browser" concept. 

So if we are going to put the device and app issue in the hands of the students and just provide the infrastructure, we need to focus on how we can deliver content that all can access through a browser. We can still offer a leasing model but not make it compulsory for all. We can support those students who can not afford the devices and make sure everyone has access to a browser.

We already have ways of achieving this:

  • Our VLE Uniservity - soon to be Life
  • Our email system and Skydrive
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Edmodo

Thursday, 17 January 2013


The great thing about the iPad is the number of free apps available for use in education. My colleague GXT spotted this one, Educreations. Great free app for creating content for lessons before and during the lesson. Or you could ask the students to explain something with it. It doesn't just turn the iPad into an expensive slate the sessions can be recorded and multiple screens created.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Flash on the iPad

One issue that the students identified was the inability to play flash quizzes from sites such as Tutor2u. With a bit of digging I have found a browser that will play the flash quizzes, called Puffin. This £1.99 on the app store.

WiFi passwords

One issue at CHS is that each time they start using the iPads students have to log onto the WiFi, to help speed this up my economics class has enabled the AutoFill option in Safari through the iPad settings.  See below. This will speed up the process.

The first lesson

All went well on Monday when the iPads were given out to the 6th formers. There was a real buzz of excitement in the room. Now for the important stuff what to use them for.

My first lesson post exams with Y12 Economics and a chance to test their capabilities out with a group. We had a quick tour round of the software - Pages, Keynote, Inkflow and Explain Everything. Students have quickly got to grips with the device and seem quite attached. We then set up a group in Edmodo.

When we looked at the feature we agreed that this would be a useful tool for the group to share materials and ideas. (They also had some fun creating their profile pictures using the iPad). The great thing is that even if they all give the iPads back we can still use Edmodo through any web browser.

We then went onto our topic for the day Circular Flow of Income. Students used their iPads to take notes, view videos I had linked to Edmodo and research on the web. A successful start.